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News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Information for patients and visitors

Find the latest advice on our Visiting restrictions and exemptions here

Mask Guidance

Advice for patients attending an outpatient appointment

Advice for patients attending an outpatient appointment

Advice for patients attending an inpatient appointment

Advice for patients attending an inpatient appointment

Do you have an appointment at one of our hospitals?

Please help us to keep you safe and follow any instructions on Covid-19 precautions

Although Covid related rules in many parts of day-to-day life are being eased, we are still asking patients coming in to our hospitals for an operation or another planned procedure to take a number of important steps to keep themselves, our staff and other patients safe from the continuing risks that Covid-19 poses.

If you are booked in for an appointment, please read any instructions you receive carefully and continue to follow them. Depending on why you are coming in that might include:

  • Social distancing in the fortnight leading up to your appointment and self-isolating for a shorter period before you come in
  • Attending for a pre-appointment Covid-19 test
  • Making sure you follow good hygiene procedures and let us know if you experience any Covid symptoms.

Patients whose medical history or other factors make them more vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19 might be advised to take additional precautions.

All of this information will be shared with you in advance, and it is important that you follow fully any guidance you receive from the team caring for you.

Thank you

Advice for Maternity patients

Advice for children coming into hospital

Advice for children coming into hospital

  pdf You can read all the advice for children coming into hospital here (2.59 MB)

This animated video for children aims to support families and children by explaining what happens when you are tested for coronavirus. The video addresses some of the fears children may have about being tested and provides a clear outline of the testing process.

Virtual visiting (video call with a patient)

Virtual visiting (video call with a patient)

We can offer online video calls with your nearest and dearest to allow you and your loved one some vital contact.

If you would like to organise a call, please contact the ward directly to organise a time.

Essential Care Package Delivery Service

Essential Care Package Delivery Service

Our volunteers can support with the delivery of small gifts and personal belongings to your loved ones on wards

With compassionate and restricted visiting in place, we have put in place a small gift and essential care package delivery service, supported by our volunteers so that relatives, friends and carers can deliver essential care packages to their loved ones. You might like to bring in cards, slippers, small cartons of juice, confectionery, books and toiletries, for example.

We ask you to only bring in non-valuable items (any items deemed valuable may be refused by security). This is because we are unable to take responsibility for items. Flowers and plants will not be accepted.

Friends and relatives can drop small parcels, Monday to Friday, 10:00–15:00 to the following locations:

  • Worcestershire Royal Hospital main entrance
  • Alexandra Hospital main entrance

On arriving with small packages, friends/relatives are asked to complete a form with the details of the patient and the package and sign a disclaimer.

All packages will need to be put in a “Patient Property” bag which will be provided and sealed and labelled with the patient’s name and ward. We will ask for the name of the person who has brought in the items and ask you to list the items you have brought in.

Please do not bring large or bulky items into the hospital for your relatives. Any items should be able to fit into the bedside locker otherwise they will prevent effective cleaning of the patient bays. We cannot accept packages that are larger than a standard carrier bag. Large suitcases, hold-alls and bags will not be accepted, nor will other large items such as cuddly toys or duvets.

If you bring in items outside these hours we may be unable to deliver the items the same day and we will need to safely store them. Items cannot be delivered on the weekend. If you have any questions about this service, please contact our Volunteer Hub on 01905 733159.

We do hope this service brings additional support and comfort to patients, relatives and carers at this difficult time.

Free WiFi

Free WiFi

Patients who wish to access the free WiFi during their stay will need to sign up by filling in their details on the free WiFi landing page. Choose “NHS Wi-Fi” in WiFi settings on a smartphone, tablet or laptop to access the landing page.

Privacy notice on Covid-19 for Patients and Service Users

Privacy notice on Covid-19 for Patients and Service Users

This notice describes how we may use your information to protect you and others during the Covid-19 outbreak. It supplements our main Privacy Notice which is available here.

The health and social care system is facing significant pressures due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Health and care information is essential to deliver care to individuals, to support health and social care services and to protect public health. Information will also be vital in researching, monitoring, tracking and managing the outbreak. In the current emergency it has become even more important to share health and care information across relevant organisations.

Existing law which allows confidential patient information to be used and shared appropriately and lawfully in a public health emergency is being used during this outbreak. Using this law the Secretary of State has required NHS Digital; NHS England and Improvement; Arms Length Bodies (such as Public Health England); local authorities; health organisations and GPs to share confidential patient information to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Any information used or shared during the Covid-19 outbreak will be limited to the period of the outbreak unless there is another legal basis to use the data.  Further information is available on gov.uk here and some FAQs on this law are available here.

During this period of emergency, opt-outs will not generally apply to the data used to support the Covid-19 outbreak, due to the public interest in sharing information.  This includes National Data Opt-outs.  However in relation to the Summary Care Record, existing choices will be respected. Where data is used and shared under these laws your right to have personal data erased will also not apply.  It may also take us longer to respond to Subject Access requests, Freedom of Information requests and new opt-out requests whilst we focus our efforts on responding to the outbreak.

In order to look after your health and care needs we may share your confidential patient information including health and care records with clinical and non clinical staff in other health and care providers, for example neighbouring GP practices, hospitals, pharmacies and NHS 111. We may also use the details we have to send public health messages to you, either by phone, text or email. If your care is transferred to another organisation we will share your health data to support your continued care.

During this period of emergency we may offer you a consultation via telephone or video-conferencing. By accepting the invitation and entering the consultation you are consenting to this. Your personal/confidential patient information will be safeguarded in the same way it would with any other consultation.

We will also be required to share personal/confidential patient information with health and care organisations and other bodies engaged in disease surveillance for the purposes of protecting public health, providing healthcare services to the public and monitoring and managing the outbreak.  Further information about how health and care data is being used and shared by other NHS and social care organisations in a variety of ways to support the Covid-19 response is here.   

NHS England and Improvement and NHSX have developed a single, secure store to gather data from across the health and care system to inform the Covid-19 response. This includes data already collected by NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England and NHS Digital. New data will include 999 call data, data about hospital occupancy and A&E capacity data as well as data provided by patients themselves.  All the data held in the platform is subject to strict controls that meet the requirements of data protection legislation.  

In such circumstances where you tell us you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms we may need to collect specific health data about you.  Where we need to do so, we will not collect more information than we require and we will ensure that any information collected is treated with the appropriate safeguards.

We may amend this privacy notice at any time so please review it frequently.

Patient Notification Form for participants of the ISARIC CCP-UK research study

Patient Notification Form for participants of the ISARIC CCP-UK research study

The following provides information for participants of the ISARIC CCP-UK research study, which we have been supporting at our hospitals since the start of the COVID pandemic.

What is CCP-UK?

The CCP-UK (Clinical Characterisation Protocol – United Kingdom) is a study that collects information about infectious diseases of public health importance quickly and efficiently in response to potential public health crises. The study was activated in January 2020 in response to the emergence of what was then called Wuhan Flu, which led to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since being activated, we have recruited over 300,000 patients to the data collection aspect of our study. CCP-UK is the largest study of its kind answering questions about COVID-19 in the world. We have also been activated for cases of Ebola, Monkeypox, Lassa Fever and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

What data do we collect?

Research nurses and medical students at hospitals across the UK recruited people who tested positive for COVID-19. The research nurses and medical students recorded information on patients’ hospital stay, such as whether they had any underlying conditions, what medicine they were given and what the result of their hospital stay was (discharged well, discharged disabled or death). 

The research team then input this information into our study database. All data inputted on the database is anonymised – each patient is given a unique participant ID, so no names are stored on the database and individuals cannot be directly identified.

Participants’ date of birth, NHS number and postcode are also recorded on the database. This information is hugely important for the study, which is why we cannot leave it out for confidentiality purposes. Date of birth is important to allow us to analyse the impact of age on COVID-19 outcomes. NHS numbers are important as these let us link to other NHS databases to obtain further information, such as which of our participants received a particular drug to treat COVID-19, or who has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Postcodes are important to allow us to analyse the impact of deprivation factors, such as living in a poorer area, on COVID-19 outcomes. Without these key pieces of information, we wouldn’t be able to complete most of the analysis that we have done and would not have been able to have the same positive impact on the UK’s COVID response.

Why are we allowed to collect this data without consent?

In March 2020, in order to boost the UK’s response to COVID-19, the Department of

Health and Social Care served the NHS with a COPI (Control of Patient Information Regulations 2002) Notice, requiring them to share confidential patient information without consent for specific purposes. These specific purposes included research on COVID-19. Because of the COPI Notice, our study has been collecting data from patients admitted to hospital in the UK with COVID-19 without getting their permission first

Being able to collect this data without obtaining permission has been very important in enabling our study to achieve what we have done. Many of the people admitted with COVID-19 were too sick to give consent themselves and because of COVID-19 precautions, they were not accompanied by relatives who could speak for them. Because we were not required to obtain consent from each of our participants, we have been able to recruit many more participants than usual and we were able to include the sickest patients who are often missed from studies like ours. We have also been able to work very quickly. Because of this, our data has been able to capture what is happening with COVID around the UK in near real-time. This allowed us to provide the health policy teams and doctors in the NHS with the most up-to-date information to guide the health response throughout the pandemic.

What has the study achieved? 

Because we have been able to collect and analyse this data quickly and efficiently, we have been able to achieve a lot through our study.

  • We provide reports to SAGE and NERVTAG weekly. These are the committees that provide advice to health and social care policy makers for the UK COVID-19 response.
  • We have been able to identify several risk factors in the UK population that are strongly associated with poor outcomes in COVID-19, including the impact of obesity, respiratory conditions and different outcomes between ethnic groups.
  • We have been able to provide data supporting identification of high-risk groups for COVID-19 vaccination which meant they were given priority and this saved lives.
  • We have been able to conduct research into the usefulness of COVID-19 drugs treatments and shown what works well and what does not.

You can review these outcomes at our website: https://isaric4c.net/outputs/.

How is the data collected kept safe?

We make sure that the data on our database is as secure as possible. The database is only accessible by approved colleagues with passwords, and is run by IT systems with very high standards of security. The physical notes that research nurses complete before transferring the information to the database are kept in locked rooms accessed only by hospital staff, or on hospitals’ secure electronic healthcare record system.

We make sure the data is as confidential as possible by anonymising it (using unique participant IDs rather than names). The data collected (including date of birth, NHS number, postcode) is only accessible by members of the study team, and is not disclosed beyond this. Once the NHS number is used for linkage we remove it from the research database.

How can I opt-out of having my data collected?

If you have opted out of your data being used for research via the National Data Opt-Out (https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/), we will remove your data from our database if you have been recruited.

If you have not opted out of your data being used for research via the National Data Opt-Out but you would like to opt out from your data being used for our study, you can contact the study team to request this at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you want to opt out please send us an email including your name, date of birth, NHS number and postcode. You do not need to give a reason for why you want to opt out. We will look for your details in our data and if we find it we will delete it. In any case we will email back to you within 14 days to tell you if we found your data and if we did, to confirm that your data has been removed.

If you would like to learn more about our study and how patient data is collected, used and protected, please visit https://isaric4c.net/privacy/